A Lurve Pome, More or Less (Mostly Less)

I’m glad I never got to know you–
You thought I lived too far away.
The commute is horrendous:
Orange County to Ellay.
No one wants to do it;
You’d have to be insane.
No one is that desperate,
Certainly not you,
Handsome, successful…
I looked up your schools,
Well, everything really–
You’re quite googleable.

Remember when I wrote to you
On Plenty of Fish?
And said I wished
You’d forget your rule
About distance
Just this once?
Of course you don’t!
But you said I was pretty
And a good writer too.
High praise, I thought,
Coming from you,
Even if it was
Polite bullpoop
Just to get rid of me–
Someone in your industry–
And you did not want
To make an enemy.
It was very civilized,
And I hope you’re doing well tonight,
Not that you need good wishes from me
Or anything else
Obviously.

I refuse to get nasty
And slide into snark
About the fifty miles by car,
Even though
People get together, I’ve heard,
From different states and even
Other countries, but then again
They don’t have to merge
Onto the dreaded four-oh-five.
I get it, I really do, my friend;
All’s fair.
You’re a busy guy–
You don’t have time
To make that drive;
Even if I had met you there,
You would have had to do it
Eventually.
You knew that,
And declined
For your peace of mind,
But sweetly,
Unlike the usual crude galoot
Galumphing about these sites.
I soaked up your drops of praise
Like a thirsty desert daisy.
Rejection made sense, and
You’re nothing but logical,
Which I have to respect.
And I do.

But then today
After yet another near-disaster
Of epic proportions
(Is there any other kind?),
And an anxious, sleepless night,
What do I find?
Facebook has bought a clue
To my old stalking of you
And suggested we be friends.
How about that?
Would you like to see
Pictures of my cat?
Perhaps you’d enjoy
My episodic complaints
About parking spaces,
And I could comment on
Your erudite opinion of the day.
We could be lovely friends;
How clever of an algorithm
To match us up
Once again.

I jest of course.
No worries — you’re safe!
Though I was happy to gaze
Upon your kindly face
That Facebook presented:
The gentle smile
And twinkling eyes.
I always thought
You looked kinda hot
In that plain grey tee–
Arms crossed,
Not showing off, but…
Anyway, what is it now,
A decade old?
I’ve seen a current photo
With less hair
And more flesh,
But still appealing
Nevertheless,
On your company site,
Where I just happened to click
After googling because
Everyone else is so awful.
And you know what?
You’re probably awful too.
Despite the nice rejection,
I know this, or suspect.
You’re likely not insane
Like the guy last night
And most of the others
I somehow attract
Like flypaper for freaks
(As a friend fondly puts it),
But you would not have
Enough time for me,
Mr. Busy Guy,
Guaranteed.
And it would
Ultimately
Break my heart.
How do I know
In advance?
Trust me, I do:
I have had this dance.

So, I am glad
I do not live in Ellay,
Or you behind the curtain;
It’s better this way.
Better to think of you
Handsome, aloof,
Successful and kind,
And if you remembered me
(Which of course you do not),
You’d say ah the pretty one,
Yes, I thought she could write,
Has she sold a screenplay?
HAH!
Sold a screenplay?!
I’m dying!
We’d clink our glasses
And we’d laugh.
I’m sure you have a wonderful laugh.
Never mocking, not sarcastic,
No “New York sense of humor”–
Code for being an asshole,
Not you.
You would be… a nice guy.
That sounds boring.
Who says this anymore?
A nice guy, pffft!
You probably wouldn’t be one
In reality.
Or I would break you bad
Like I apparently do to all men
Over and over again.
Yet in my dreams,
You will remain
That sweet guy who
Said I was pretty and could write,
The nicest guy I never met: you.

TJ’s Lemonade Cupcakes

ZOMG a cupcake poast! Next thing, she’ll be writing about shoes! Hey, you never know… I do have a coupon from DSW.😉

For a while now I’ve pretended not to notice that Trader Joe’s has been deliberately and wantonly tempting me to buy their luscious looking pink and yellow lemonade cupcakes sneakily displayed in the dessert section, where naturally I would have to see them. And you know what they say about temptation: the easiest way to get rid of it is just to give in to it already, and so today I did that.

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They’re very pretty, no frills cupcakes. No sprinkles or doodads adorn these treats. Just cake and frosting, fin.

The cake is surprisingly dense ~ this is not light and fluffy party cake, my peeps. It has a heavy texture, almost muffin-like, but not oily. And it is highly flavored, very citrussy. Definitely not overly sweet. Serious cake happening here. The frosting is lemon cream cheese, a perfect complement.

Very tasty overall, though heavy. The nutritional info says one cupcake has 320 calories, which is considerably less than a Sprinkle’s lemon, but it feels just as satisfying. I’m kinda over the gourmet cupcake, tbh, which is why you don’t see me yapping about them much anymore. This isn’t because I’ve hopped onto the next trend (idk even know what the next trend is), but because I got a little bored chasing after cupcakes, not that I’d turn one down if it magically appeared in front of me, and also… heartburn, bleh.

But it was fun to have one of these lemonades. OK FINE I HAD TWO. Geez.

20160423_130710

The Next Thing

I don’t know what it is yet, but I feel I’m ready for the next thing.

It’s not writing. I’m done. Every time this week that I’ve considered the idea of writing a story, my whole mind and spirit rebelled against it. Writing was a good thing I did during stressful times when I needed to create a pretend world as a mental escape. I don’t need or want that any longer. It’s like a relationship: I’ve said goodbye to writing ~ not just the romances, but story writing in general. We’re over. It wasn’t a terrible, ugly, screaming, door-slamming exit, but a quiet walking away. The departure didn’t seem dramatic and final. And yet it was.

The occasional blog poast and twitter pome feel different. They aren’t a commitment; I do them when I’m in the mood, same as the random Facebook update. I don’t feel pressured after work to sit down and stare at another screen for hours and hours. I don’t have to give up my weekends to a screen. In fact, if I go an entire weekend without glancing at FB or Twitter… who cares? But if I’m “supposed” to be working on a book and I skip a weekend, then I feel bad. I’m off-game. My plan is messed up. Etc. I don’t want or need that kind of pressure on myself. Feh. Phooey!

I feel light and free. My headaches were better this week. I didn’t have any bad dreams. My neck even felt less hurty! I exercised more. I took a long walk in the sunshine and feel a craving to do more of same. What? Ikr? Maybe it’s birthday insanity and next month I’ll be back to my normal, crabby, headachy, indoor, writing self. I don’t know. But I hope not. I like this me moar. Moar this please, whatever it is.

Onward!

A Little E-Cleaning

My Yahoo email helper (since when do they haz a helper?) has been nagging me to clean up by saying let us halp you! I don’t need any halp. I do it myself. Sheesh. Idk why I let my Yahoo inbox get so messy when my Gmail ones are so neat, but I guess the truth is I just don’t care about Yahoo all that much. Boo hoo. Mostly I use Yahoo to store my fave poems of the day and also to keep me connected to Flickr. But anyway. Cleaning time!

Houseclean

(I adore Bitstrips!)

I decided I wanted to keep the pomes in the inbox so I can continue to read them easily at my leisure. Receipts for misc whatevers went into the archives. Wait, what’s this now? I found a receipt from a dating site (gak) from 2014. Surely I deleted my profile, yes? I don’t have an active profile somewhere, DO I? Zomg. I had to go see.

This one is called Lavalife. Haven’t heard of it? No worries. I don’t think anyone else has either. I think I found it back in Y2K or something. Yes, I was married then. Are we being judgy? Anyway, it was this crappy Canadian site you could join totes for free and chat to your heart’s content, no charge for anything. Mostly you met Canadians, but like who cared if you were just chatting, eh? But 14 years later the Lavas twigged that they could spruce up their site and start charging people. I got a notice to inform me that sprucing would commence and my log-in info needed to be verified. Apparently I did this and made a whole new profile in 2014 with (then) current photos.

When I went to check it out last night I had to reactivate, meaning my profile had been deactivated, whew. But I needed to see what madness was there, right? Right. I had the photos, as stated, and a short, peppy profile. It was very upbeat, with exclamation points, more than one. Immediately, it made me want to barf. But the weird thing is that it was only partially done, as if I had become sick of myself and exited halfway through, quite understandable. Yet, some of the fields had been filled in regardless by a ghostly hand. Forex, religion had been marked “New Age.” Wtf? I’d never put that. New Age?! What is that, even? Sounds like a lot of incense and woo. No thanks.

Anyway, I started deleting the photos because before I exit a site I like to leave my profile as empty as possible, but it’s like they knew what I was doing. Why do I think that? Because some man began chatting with me! Yikes. Okay, Plan B. Forget emptying the profile, just Get Out. (And no, this was not going to be some sort of cute-emeet because I couldn’t chat back without paying. Remember, the Canadians have caught on to the system now, which means that man was probably a bot. I know how this works.) From my vast dating site experience, I know that you find the delete-your-profile button in the place where you go to pay, so you have to go through the menus as if you were planning to pay before you can access it. Yes, that’s what you have to do.

And that is what I did. Not deactivate this time, but delete. Bye Lavalife, it’s been nice knowing you these past 16 years, even though I had totally forgotten about you. I hope my profile is actually deleted and not used for some nefarious purpose, but whatever. Like they’d really hoard old people’s profiles to sell to third-world countries. Psst, we have a deal on grandmas!

Now my Yahoo inbox is totally pristine, all pomes from top to bottom. I am happy.

I, Robot Not

I had a plan. Since it seemed ridiculous not to at least try to edit the rest of the romance novels I had started way back when and (some) almost finished, I was going to do that. I would start with the best, closest-to-doneness novel and work on that one first. A friend suggested I not self-publish right away but submit to Kindle Scout because, what the hey, they might take it and that would be good.

I had lovely fantasies of getting a contract from Amazon and (finally) having my romance writing become popular enough to bring in some decent money. Then I’d have the motivation to keep going and finish the half-done novels and the quarter-done ones, etc. After I retired from my day job in 10-15 years I would keep writing and have a nice additional income to buy a little cottage with a sweet garden, only a short walk over the bridge from the village… *slaps self*

But I forgot one thing.

When I wrote all that sappy formulaic dreck delicious sexy romance, through a decade or so, I had a basic optimistic outlook on life in this area. It propelled my emotional vision for character and story. Despite my own fuckups, I remained generally steadily upbeat about the possibility I would meet Mr. Soulmate Guy. That was supposed to happen by now, and it hasn’t, so I am no longer upbeat. This is probably why I gravitated back to writing the short stories about adultery and death. But no one wants to hear about those, or read them, so forget it.

Anyway, point is (re the title here). I can’t just program myself to sit down and write romance like I thought I could. Sure, I can start editing my MS for commas and shit, but when it comes time to actually write a new scene, which I realized I had to do last week, my brain was all NO. Not writing this. Not going there. Hate. Hate characters. Hate story. This is stupid. Not writing this. Stop.

Maybe this means I’m not a Real Writer (oh god not that again no no please no *comments closed*), since from what I understand a Real Writer plunks butt in chair and begins to write what s/he has decided to write for the day until the desired wordcount is reached and that is that. I think you get to take Christmas and your birthday off, but that’s it. Not even sure you can start substituting other holy days for Christmas… listen, are you a Real Writer or do you want to start nattering on about religion? Write your story. End of.

But I can’t do that. One year I wrote an entire romance novel in six weeks. It was pretty good. Another RN I still can’t get right after a decade. There are months when I’m consumed 24/7 with writing poetry and then weeks go by when I’m totally uninterested. I had a weird, tangled up, semi-autobiographical epic story going on intermittently for 25+ years and finally abandoned it. One November I started to write a murder mystery, but gave up on that too. Because boring.

My mind is like a refrigerator with faded reminder notes stuck haphazardly all over it and on top of each other, some fallen on the floor, and some *behind the fridge*… and sometimes I ignore them all and just open the fridge door, staring into it for hours, wondering why the fuck I don’t have anything I want when I’m only shopping for myself anymore and what is up with that… and then the light goes out and I’m staring into the abyss and you know what happens then.

Saturday Vocab

Vocab1

I’ve begun taking screenshots of the more “interesting” words people have been using against me in Words with Friends. These are all valid words according to the game, and while some I disagree with (I don’t think a word that has no definition should be allowed, for one thing ~ wtf is a “vrow”? Google says a Dutch woman. Is it not an English word then? Feh), others are cool (zouk!) and I hope they stay with me so I can use them too.

I dislike the slang words creeping into the game, as I’ve noted before. Meh, feh, blah, geez… and now this biffy, sure why not. If we can have grunts and sighs, why not slang for toilets from every obscure corner of the English-speaking world ~ hopefully confined to that though and not other languages.

My friend LHD and I had a discussion about money the otter week. I was complaining that some of the money words were foreign words, but then I conceded that if we don’t have an English word for that object, it should be allowed. Take a penny. We have the word penny, so we don’t need a foreign word for penny. But a sou is a sou and a peso is a peso and they transcend their language of origin. Or something.

Clavi is a useful word for people with migraines. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before.

Mostly I play “normal” words, but occasionally I try some odd combo of letters and see if they work, and if I get a huge number of points I’ll feel a bit unclean. But I somehow get over that and move on. I played isotones last night, for a decent number of points (around 60), which I hesitated over because I could have sworn it was a brand name, but it’s just chemistry. What was I thinking of? Oh! Slippers, right.

Have a nice weekend, my peeps. Happy zouking!

A Different Don

My dad would have been 86 today. He died a little over three years ago, without too much suffering, all things considered. I don’t miss the person he was at the end and rarely think of that person these days. It’s hard to connect the end-person with the man I knew my whole life as my father. Alzheimer’s is such a horrible disease, shredding the person you know bit by bit into thin strips of nothingness. Even when you can occasionally have a somewhat normal conversation with them you know they aren’t really processing it and won’t remember it. And they might not even remember who you are. But we did have a nice visit around Christmas 2012 with the girls, and he seemed to know them then, so hopefully that was a shining jewel he kept in a locked treasurebox somewhere in his tangled mind.

My father was a smart guy. He loved words and crossword puzzles. And he loved the New York Times. When we moved to California in 1983 he gave the LA Times a go for several years, but he eventually returned to the NYT because he missed it so much. Sometimes we attempted to do the toughie Sunday puzzle together, but we were rarely able to finish. He was no slouch at math either ~ he was a numbers guy, an insurance underwriter, manager, VP, and finally EVP. But his greatest strength was his love for people. People liked him and he liked them. They trusted him, and he was trustworthy. He was also a little innocent in some ways, believing that most people were good, and would do good if given the chance.

Dad had a sweet tooth ~ how he loved his desserts! Brownies, ice cream, cookies, cake. I definitely inherited that (as opposed to people who dislike sweets, right). He enjoyed trying new cuisines and new restaurants, but he was totally fine with a burger too. After my mom passed away in 2008 he learned to cook simple things and was very proud of his signature dish ~ shrimp with pasta. We’d usually meet for dinner once a week when he was living on his own.

While Dad loved (loved!) to read, he was not an introvert. He liked to socialize and mingle. He also loved to travel and take long drives to nowhere in particular. Dad was great at reading maps, but he was also fine without a map and didn’t stress about getting lost. He just figured everything would sort itself out in due time, no biggie, and he’d see a new town or three in the meantime. Dad was a planner, but definitely not OCD. A big picture guy ~ someone else could sort out the deets. He would go with the flow. Mellow dude. I’m glad he got to go to the UK, his dream trip.

My father was liberal, Jewish, agnostic. He liked the Doors and Jefferson Airplane and Bette Midler. He’d periodically nag me to read Ulysses and I still haven’t ever finished more than a third because ugh. He taught me to play chess. (I wish we’d played more chess.) He taught me to love poetry by reading aloud and quoting the greats. He always had a book open somewhere,  and usually more than one. Dad had an intense interest in history and politics. He followed the news religiously. But never sports! He hated sports. We went to a lot of museums. Dad had an eye for art. He was a good photographer, a professional at one point early on while he was thinking about a career in journalism.

He was a good man. He took care of his family. And he was funny.

Dad

Dad and me, probably around 1994, Huntington Beach. Yes, he smoked. Yes, I am a vampire.

 

Migraines and Quizzes

I receive daily cheery notes regarding migraines in various venues, as well as empathetic e-ears and the occasional helpful link. Like many of my fellow sufferers, over the decades I’ve slowly accepted the fact that I’ve had to remove myself from the world of obvious triggers: sultry perfumes and tasty wines, rock concerts and raucous parties, long drives late at night, the crowded, the loud, the smelly, the all-nighter, the overheated, and on and on. When I do occasionally indulge in any of these things, I pay the expected price, and as I age I find the price becomes more onerous. Maybe I’m more aware of the percentages going the opposite direction (how many weekends left now vs. how many I used to have to discard).

Even if I don’t do anything wrong, I still pay sometimes. Because weather. Because sleep patterns. Because stress. Because… no reason. Yet, I consider myself one of the “lucky” ones because I only get a few episodes per year where I actually throw up and have to lie down for hours in a dark room. Lots of migraine peeps have those episodes several times per month. I feel so bad for them ~ I don’t know how I’d be able to work in that case. Of course I wish I didn’t have any migraines at all, but I always tell myself there are worse things.

Lately I’ve taken some online quizzes, as you do, and the results were a bit of a surprise. I was more OCD than I thought, for one thing. I always joke about being OCD, but I don’t really think I’m all that. We’ve all read about the peeps who hoard stuff to the point where the police have to be called and the unfortunate souls who can’t make it into work before noon because they have to recheck the locks 857 times. Me, I like to alphabetize my CDs… some of ’em anyway. And I think about numbers a lot. Like that 857 there…

So, why’d my quiz come out like that? I think it’s because I answered so many questions skewed positively toward introversion and aloneness. As the years go by, I’ve been avoiding situations that could trigger migraines, which are mostly ones that involve other people. When I was younger, my need to be social, make friends, please a man, etc., overcame my aversion to yet another headache, but now it’s the opposite. I really want to have as few migraines as possible in the time I have left. That seems rational. A good way to avoid as many as I can is to stay home alone in a managed environment. That sounds sad, and sometimes it is, but it’s also sad to spend a whole Sunday suffering and gulping meds due to four hours of “fun” listening to blasting music on a Saturday night.

Another quiz tagged me as “on the spectrum.” Whaaaaat? I mean, OK, if it’s true, it’s true. That would be pretty funny after all these years empathizing with every psycho that popped out of the dating site cake. Oh, there she goes again, talking about dating sites! K, sorry. Again, I think it’s because I answered the questions as someone who is actively avoiding migraine triggers by managing my environment. No, I don’t want to go to a spontaneous chocolate orgy; leave me alone to organize my lint collection. Thx.

How would my life have turned out if I didn’t have migraines? That’s an interesting question. I can’t even imagine specifically, which is sort of bizarre and sad. Biology is still destiny, sometimes.

I might have had a whole different career. I might have spent much more time outdoors. Or in bars getting drunk. I probably would have listened to a lot more music and worn perfume every day. Would my married life have been different? Dunno. I probably would have been less shushy as a parent. As a divorcee, would I be prowling around the cougar clubs and hitting on the Uber drivers afterward? I can feel a little story brewing…

Anyway. I think the answer, as always, is to quit taking quizzes.

Plucked from the Archives

I made this poast that my daughter wrote for me, a “Thursday 13,” on Ultrablog (RIP) ten years ago exactly, though April 6th was a Thursday then. I was still married and living with my husband, two daughters, and two cats in Huntington Beach. One of those cats died and the other ran away. It seems like forever ago, and it feels like yesterday. It makes me cry and it makes me smile.

Number 7 hurts, but you know… ah nothing. We do the best we can.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

13 Things That Annoy My Mom (by Amy).

1. ME!
2. When I type weird things in her address bar.
3. When I put imaginary words on the Scrabble board.
4. When she tells me to do something and I’m watching TV and tell her I’ll do it at the commercial but then don’t.
5. When I don’t scoop the catpoops.
6. The phone ringing.
7. When her mom calls and I answer and say she’s right here.
8. When Dad doesn’t turn off the tea kettle.
9. When she tells us to remind her not to forget to renew the library books and we forget to remind her not to forget.
10. A door slamming.
11. When she tells me to get one of the cats and their claws are stuck in me and I go ow ow ow and she says COME ON, GET THE FUCKING CAT.
12. When she puts up sticky notes on the fridge for us to read and we don’t take them down after we do the thing it says.
13. When I have an idea for her blog and she thinks it’s stupid.

What’s Your Potato(e)?

When poor Dan Quayle misspelled potato I felt kinda bad for him. Potato is one of those words that I might also misspell if I’m in a hurry, and especially if I’m typing. I probably wouldn’t misspell it on a grocery list. Though who would write potato on a grocery list anyway? You’d write potatoes. Problem solved!

I don’t know why I have the muscle memory to stick an “e” on the end of potato. Maybe it’s because I’m used to pluralizing it. Another word I usually get wrong is the name Doug. I can’t type Doug without sticking an “h” on it to make dough. Cookie dough! Yay! I have to physically force myself not to type that “h.”

It’s hard for me to type the word “excited” ~ for some odd reason I default to “exciting.” I’ve generated many grammatically screwed up sentences because of this, which is why I try to proofread everything before sending.

On my phone, I regularly type “tge” for “the.” Annoying! But that’s an obvious typo. No one would think I don’t know how to spell “the.”

The otter day I stuck an “e” on the end of romantic. Romantice? What the hell is that? I can’t even make a logical guess as to why my fingers “thought” tic needed another letter. Maybe I type entice a lot? Hmm.

What’s your potato(e)?

Potatoe